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Detoxification and the digestive tract

By Staff | Nov 5, 2009

I started a conversation about digestion and healing the GI tract a couple weeks ago, and promised to finish that conversation a later column. Today’s column may not directly go to that theme but it does lightly touch on digestion because detoxification is one of the main issues affecting the GI tract. Today we talk about fibromyalgia, detoxification, and pain reduction from a detox perspective.

Do you need detox? As I wrote in that earlier column, I will not put a client on a detox program unless their gut has been healed so if you want to detox, pull out that old column and follow the instructions for several months before proceeding to this step because if you start detoxifying, dumping huge amounts of chemicals and debris into a damaged intestinal tract, you may get worse, not better.

Following are some (emphasis on some because the list is very long) symptoms that may indicate the need to detox:

Recurring headaches, faintness, watery or itchy eyes, swollen, reddened or sticky eyelids, blurred or tunnel vision, itchy ear, sinus problems, chronic coughing, swollen or discolored tongue, gums, and lips, acne, hives, rashes, excessive sweating, asthma, bronchitis, nausea, diarrhea, constipation Well, this list is getting too long. If you want the whole list, call me and I’ll fax it to you.

The issue then becomes how to detox safely and effectively. Science-based metabolic detox programs are recommended as a first approach to help relieve the above complaints. Some evidence suggests that certain heavy metals, such as mercury in dental amalgams may increase symptoms of pain and fatigue in those who are already chemically sensitive. Never ever detox using fasting or other nutrient-depleted programs as part of the protocol!

A well-rounded detox program (especially for fibromyalgia and other chronic pain conditions that may involve detox) involves the following nutraceuticals: hops (humulus lupulus) that dampens down an over-stimulated inflammatory response (good clinical trials on this herbal product!), watercress, elagic acid from pomegranate (powerful antioxidants), dl-methionine, lysine, l-cysteine, and other “lipotropics” that aid in liver detoxification through the phase I and phase II detox pathways, and so on.

There is a formula that puts this all together in a breakfast shake; I’m using it now to relieve some chronic pain (do we generally get a little achier as we age? I hate that!) and expect good results. I’m combining this protocol with an anti-inflammatory diet, extra fiber to aid in elimination, and high doses of MSM. I’ll keep you posted.

Carol is a certified lifestyle educator at the offices of Dr. Alan Gruning in Fort Myers. She owns the Island Nutrition Center on Sanibel. She can be reached at 472-4499.